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June 15 2005

Australian Buffy fans ripped off. More news on the scandal of the disappearing Buffy convention promoter. Upto half a million Aussie dollars missing with government officials investigating what happened.

Was anyone here going to the convention?

I know of a few people who were going.. and was considering going myself. But I felt the tickets were just too expensive, so in the end I decided against it. This sucks.
I was aware of it but never seriously considered it due to the price. Also, it would have clashed with JM's concert in Melbourne on 2nd July - which I am going to.
Holy crap - that was close! I was going to TabulaRasa in Melbourne on the Sunday and toyed with the idea of flying to Adelaide on Saturday for Slayercon and then across to Melbourne late on Saturday night - so glad I didn't now! I do know several people who are .. whoops... were going. In good faith, they didn't even ask for refunds because "it was just postponed to October, not cancelled"! They are going to be mightily pissed now!

Again, "Holy Crap!"
This sucks so bad.
I hope if anyone paid by credit card the companies won't charge them because the purchase was fraudulent.
I've been to Melbourne... what a great city. Good luck, y'all.
April - the article said payment was money order or direct debit only. That just sucks. This is what Interpol is for! Forget the world situation......go get those Buffyhucksters.

:: readies Karmic Chopping Block for the disappearing promoter ::
Wow. What an utter creep this guy is. Too bad the swindled fans can't go to Angel Investigations and get some help on this. I bet a good private eye could track the guy down, though. Private eyes can work miracles.
Money order or direct debit should have raised some flags - as far as I know all other conventions take credit cards.
I work in the banking industry and know that using your credit card affords you a lot more consumer protection than paying cash or using other non-credit related payment methods. If you use a credit card to buy tickets to an event and it is ever canceled, you can always dispute the transaction with your card company for "services not rendered" and the merchant's bank will have to refund the purchase whether the event organizer has absconded with the funds or not.
This is horrible. Why don't we put our minds together to track this guy down. Last I heard, he was headed towards the USA. catalyst2, is there a name? I heard one earlier, but not confirmed.
Credit cards are our friends, for anything where you pay for something well before you actually get it. Even if you don't have a card yourself get a friend to use theirs and give them the cash. I actually had to call on this once, I paid for a courier to deliver something I'd sold on ebay and they never collected it, and refused to give me a refund. One phone call to my card company and they refunded it there and then.

One warning, I seem to remember a while ago that they do not cover purchases from another country.
Well, I'm one of the lucky rip-off-ees. To be honest, many a flag went up in my mind that it might not be kosher, but all my peoples were going and so I laid down the cash. On one hand, I feel like I deserved what I got here, but on the other, I feel Ed deserves a visit from the "sisters" from Shawshank....

There's no doubt in my mind that he started with the best intentions, but he's a big one for the panicking and freaking out.

So... yay. My irrational need to have dinner with three beautiful ladies from the Buffyverse has been my undoing. Somehow, I always knew it would.
That blows! What a jerk store. So sorry for the folks it happened to.
Madhatter, just answering for Catalyst. The article said his name was Edward Schumacher and he runs Scooby Gang Promotions.
So everyone keep an eye out for this guy in the future. I'm glad you didn't sign up for that one to Catalyst!! And sympathys Weevil, it's a fool who freaks out and runs. I hope the authorites do catch him.
My friend Karen had a wedding planner that did this. A wedding planner! On the day that was supposed to be her happiest ever, she had to deal with cold, flat chicken breast, stinky salmon, and bridal bouquets that had big crooked GOLD LAME bows dangling from scraggly wildflowers, when she had ordered tea roses. The photographer never even showed up. When she tried to call, repeatedly, she finally got the husband of said wedding planner on the phone who said "I don't know what to do, she's in our bed with the covers pulled up over her head!" Gahhh. Needless to say, we threw Karen and her new hubby a fucking great party, but that experience was absolutely devastating for her.

I can imagine the "screwed over" feeling you poor Aussie's must be experiencing. My heart goes out to all of you.
Interesting quote form Mr. Schumacher a while ago (1st September 2004) on Buffy.com.au's boards (reg. req.):

"Not that it really matters, if I tell you who I am you still have no clue as to my 'motives'. But would I spend money to purchase a domain, webspace, secure credit card facilities, 'shopping cart' facilities, Forum, etc just to try and rip you off?

My name is Edward Schumacher. I'm in Adelaide. I've been on a disability pension for over ten years. This will be my first convention but not my first time running events. In the past I've been involved with motorsport both as a competitor and an official. I've organised and run competitive events and was deputy Stage Commander for the "Classic Adelaide" Internaional event.

Basically it comes down to this. Either you believe this convention is legitimate or you don't. If you don't that's fine."

I guess we know the answers to those questions then!

ETA: added exact date of quote
ETA2: got the name of the website correct!

[ edited by catalyst2 on 2005-06-16 03:24 ]

[ edited by catalyst2 on 2005-06-16 03:26 ]
I actually think he was trying, but he has a serious issue dealing with criticism. The whole thing started when he announced that he was postponing due to poor ticket sales. Instead of dealing with the issue upfront and having to deal with the massive amount of refunds he would have to handle, he did what is in his nature, which was to run, hide, put his fingers in his ears and hope for the best. Which I'm sure you'll agree was a pretty dumbass thing to do. I've pretty much accepted that my money is gone - I just want him found and in a courtroom.
",if you don't , that's fine."

What's fine about it? What a ridiculous remark. So this guy wants to legitimize his con because, what, he's on disability? He's run "competitive events" ?

Way to inspire confidence, there, guy.
Yea, I've no doubt the Federal Police will catch him. Especially if he's on Disability!
Thanks, nixygirl. Yep, the same name keeps popping up. And I must agree with everyone's comments. I'm not buying his explaination for an instant. If the event was too much to handle or wasn't proceeding as planned, then it's perfectly acceptable to cancel said event and return the funds to the people. Fans will gripe, but they'll understand. Running off with the money with no recourse for the fans to get a refund is another matter. It's called fraud.
I'm sure he ran off because he absolutely didn't have the money to give back in refunds.

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